Article Review: An Explanation Of Writing In One's Music

Submitted By tmkd797
Words: 930
Pages: 4

Part 1
As the article states, in order for one to be a good musician one must prepare beyond what is expected. This article reminds me of a lot of my lessons with my private lesson teacher especially when I was trying to learn a Bach piece, because she was trying to get me to make it better than just simply good, like Jeff was trying to make his student do with the horn concerto.. She had me spend a lot of time trying to make the piece my own through dynamics and varying rhythms.
As far as what I can draw on from this article for preparing for performances, the most important point was writing in one’s music. The author did point out though that fingerings and bow directions were not sufficient preparation. He discussed how his student wrote in clues such as “save the pigs” to get in the right mood for the piece. I can also draw the conclusion that simply practicing until you are good enough is not enough. It is important to learn the piece extremely well so you can make your own interpretation of it, which will make the piece more interesting to the audience and to play, too. This article has convinced me to write more in my music because I usually just write fingerings and bowings, but not cues for how the piece should sound or feel. It has also convinced me to try to practice more so I am familiar enough with a piece to interpret it myself. If I do these things I think my musical performance will become much better because I will think more about what I am trying to convey through the music and how to accomplish that.
I thought this article had good practice tips and I liked how the author brought in examples from his own experiences to prove how writing in music helps. I did not like how the author never explicitly stated what kind of writing he liked musicians to have in their music. He did not explain if fingerings and bowings were sufficient or if dynamic and tempo changes and mood shifts as well as other things should be included, too.
Part 2 I was able to find a couple links to Quartet 13 by Hadyn, which are listed below. My favorite recording was the one with the Avalon String Quartet because they had good balance and their dynamics were very clear. They also had a clear vision of the piece that they expressed very well. Some general impressions I had when listening to the recording were the piece is generally played pretty fast compared to how our group has been practicing it. Also, the dynamics change a lot and are accented. The forte sections are very loud and the piano sections are very soft to create a lot of contrast. Also, there are some places where the tempo slows down depending on the recording, but it is never by much. The change usually happens towards the end of the piece. Also, the performers interact with each other and move to convey the feeling of the piece, too.
I liked the other recordings as well. The third link has the fastest recording and I liked that tempo because I thought it sounded the best. The dynamics were also very good in the third recording. In the second recording the performers really focused on style, which I liked. They made sure the lyrical sections were legato and smooth while the shorter sections were staccato and choppy.